Skip to Main Content

Educator Guide: Crazy for Composting 6-8: Crazy for Composting Educator Guide

Crazy for Composting

Tips to Come Prepared

Before you visit the Genovesi Environmental Study Center (GESC) with your class, review the Educator's Guide to prepare for your students.

  • Read the Essential Questions (p. 1) and Connections to Standards (p. 2) to decide how you want to link your curriculum with your field trip
  • Complete the Pre-Visit Lesson with your class activating student interest and engagement
  • Come to GESC ready to engage and learn with our experiential, hands-on field trip program, Crazy for Compost

Library Finds

Essential Questions

  • What is compost?
  • Why compost?
  • What should you compost?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of different compost systems?

Our Educator Guide

Sora eBooks

Access these free ebooks by signing in to the Sora app with your NYC DOE credentials.

Crazy for Composting

Materials for Pre-Visit Lesson

Compelling Compost Facts

  • The Australian Brush-turkey creates huge mounds of compost in order to use the heat generated to incubate its eggs! The mound can produce more than 20 times the heat of the resting parent bird, making it possible to incubate many more eggs than would be possible in a normal nest. After hatching, chicks dig their way out.

  • President George Washington kept a “stercorary”- a structure devoted to composting manure and plant material- to improve the poor soil at Mount Vernon.

  • The Vermont Composting Company creates commercial compost using chickens! The chickens eat from the compost pile, and as they do they turn it over. Not only that, as they work the pile they add nitrogen-rich waste.

  • Cleopatra declared worms to be sacred in 50 BC, and made removal of earthworms from Egypt punishable by death.

  • Charles Darwin was fascinated by earthworms and investigated them for 40 years, exploring such questions as what foods they prefer (carrots and wild cherry), how they sense the world (they are sensitive to vibrations), and whether they are intelligent (they pull leaves into their burrow by the most efficient method).

Connections to Standards


Grade 6: Unit 3 Ecosystems 
               Unit 5: Human Impact on Earth's Climate
Grade 7: Unit 5: Minimizing Human Impact Through Engineering Design 

Sixth Grade

MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
MS-LS2-2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms in a variety of ecosystems.
MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Seventh Grade
MS-ESS3-1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geologic processes.
MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.

Living Environment - Core Curriculum
Key Idea 2: Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity.
Key Idea 7: Human decisions and activities have had a profound impact on the physical and living environment.

Earth Science - Core Curriculum
Key Idea 2: Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.